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Doc Martin (Part 14 Spoilers)


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Old 17-10-2012, 17:52
Biffpup
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I'm going to say Erotomania. Mrs. T really doesn't form a substantial part of any sub-plot in the series until that episode (it's the one where she tries to remove her collar), and in a few episodes of S2 she doesn't appear at all. In Aromatherapy, the Doc compliments her (well, in a Doc-ish sort of way) for having required a prescription before giving fluconocil to Caroline Bosman. She responds with an invitation to look at journals over a Cornish pasty which is the sort of thing she has been doing all along, but I fancy she is becoming more clamourous to have this fantasy fulfilled, and more visibly disappointed when the Doc puts her off. I think the progression from that scene in Aromatherapy to the next point we really see her, which in Erotomania, is quite believable. She has taken confidence from that compliment the Doc gave her, and by the beginning of the Erotomania episode is telling the Salvation Army man that "our Doc is a wonderful man." Erotomania is also the first time, I think we see Sally outside the chemist's shop. To me this signals a conscious decision on BP's part to escalate her role in the series from a villager we see occasionally, and whose shop provides a convenient setting in which encounters between the Doc and other villagers can occur, and in which village gossip can be retailed, to a minor character who has a story-line of interest in her own right. I believe it's in "On the Edge" (the next installment after Erotomania) where Sally says "I could just eat him with a spoon" and where she effuses about the Doctor when Gavin Peters (the Doctor's friend) comes asking. So I think a decision must have been taken following Erotomania that this "crush" story-line was one that they would run with. Mrs. T's appearance does really alter in S5, in a few episodes leading up to her psychotic break in the season finale -- she is changing her hair colour and style, her lipstick, her style of dress purposely to appear more attractive for the Doc (and he notices! "What's happened to your face?"). By that point we are well away, but I'm thinking it starts with Erotomania. (It's not just Martin's diagnosis of Louisa with Erotomania that is alluded to in the title of that episode, but also what is going on in several of the subplots (Mark and Julie, Mrs. T and Martin), as we have seen in other episodes before).
You may be right. Erotomania is the one in which Mrs T ends up on the floor of her shop with her head supported by the Doc's big hands. She looks blissful in that moment. Something is tickling at the back of my mind, though, telling me we start to get hints of her feelings before that episode. I may be thinking of the scene you mentioned in Aromatherapy. Maybe the first hints we see are somewhat subtle and Erotomania is the first ep in which we know for sure. This is one of the reasons the rewatch is fun.
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Old 17-10-2012, 20:03
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They could blow our minds by giving them patterned bedsheets with little buddhas, onions, and finches.
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Old 17-10-2012, 20:06
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On the re-watch: we're up to s2 ep 1 and I think MC has almost perfected the DM walk. Up until now it hasn't been as determined I don't think.
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Old 18-10-2012, 05:18
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So anyone know why MC goes by Martin rather than Alexander?
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Old 18-10-2012, 05:32
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How many undamaged people are left in the series? Is it time to add new characters or bring back some old ones? Does almost everyone need to be demonstrably flawed so they're so obsessed/lost in their own problems they don't bust everyone else on theirs? How does this compare to other shows?
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Old 18-10-2012, 05:42
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So anyone know why MC goes by Martin rather than Alexander?
I don't think MC has ever explained it. His father's name is Alexander also and he went by Alec. It isn't unusual for a son named after a father to have a nickname or use their middle name to avoid confusion. It's better than Junior.
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Old 18-10-2012, 06:41
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We had a brief discussion a few pages ago about whether Louisa was right to call Martin "selfish" because he was so stand-offish.

I think the consensus then was that this was not an appropriate term. (If I remember correctly and often I don't, I think I was on the side that thought it wasn't.) But now, I wonder if that's not a better descriptor than sloth or pride.

In this sense: he prefers to risk nothing of himself. He's not going to share himself -- as a companion, friend, or lover -- to the extent that he might have to expose his own core insecurities and face possible rejection. People might ask things of him -- like being a friend, best man, dropping by for a drink -- that he simply can't or won't give them. Of course, he did make a striking exception for Roger Fenn, and for Louisa in the ambulance.

So, in the sense of being with-holding -- emotionally constipated as AJ labeled it -- that has something of selfishness about it.

But I guess I would agree that he is prideful. Slothful, no.

Also -- I think there is something of cowardice. Maybe that's covered by his being afraid to risk himself. Certainly he is heroic in treating his patients in spite of his obvious fears and he overcomes it in defense of people he cares about. But still to me, the scene of him legging it away from Louisa's door the morning after she has broken up with him, is emblematic of this in him. .

Really, I don't mean to be this denigrating of him. But he obviously has character flaws, as do we all, and the question here is, how would we best characterize his?
I think your connection of what I was trying to name in Martin during S2 with that accusation that Louisa makes in "Haemophobia" is a good one: M: "Oh when I speak, it just makes things worse. L: "that is not an answer, that is just so childish, M: well I think you've just proved my point. L: yeah and Peter would say that too. You know something? both of you, you deliberately stand outside the crowd and then you wonder why you feel isolated, and and you know what? apart from anything else that is...so selfish! I think Martin is selfish in that sense of being withholding. You could say he is just "highly defended" due to past damage, which lets him off the hook somewhat, but from the point of view of Louisa, whose virtue I have always seen as essentially a generosity of Spirit (the opposite of Martin's vice), it is a very frustrating shortcoming indeed, and one he could well work on.

Because I am an INTP (Myers Briggs) adopting the synoptic view well above the fray is a comfortable place for me also. I have been suprised over the years by how really annoying and offensive some of my friends (mostly the ENFJs) find that posture to be. They suspect it of being some power ploy -- a way of positioning myself as a superior to them and to the world generally. I maintain it is devoid of that sort of pride and certainly of that shrewd intent to manipulate the power dynamics...but it may well be selfish. It's like the selfishness of Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory who wants his chair positioned just so -- never mind that it means others have to turn their head in an awkward position or sit in a draught in order to talk to him. The point is that he is not so discomfitted. For friendship and certainly for the kind of relationship Louisa wants with Martin you have to learn a greater generosity -- your own comfort cannot be the paramount consideration all the time. When people want you to come down and join them on the plane of earth, lean into the fray where you let them know you have something invested as well, not to do so is selfish. It is saying that your needs are more important than theirs.

Louisa has risked a lot in telling Martin how she feels. His inability to match her risk in S2 and to raise her, speaks to both selfishness and, yes, cowardice and also to her chief S3 complaint against him: that he cannot move the relationship forward.
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Old 18-10-2012, 07:10
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How many undamaged people are left in the series? Is it time to add new characters or bring back some old ones? Does almost everyone need to be demonstrably flawed so they're so obsessed/lost in their own problems they don't bust everyone else on theirs? How does this compare to other shows?
I guess that's the danger of giving secondary characters their own subplots. They become small scale tragic heroes in their own right, with the necessary fatal flaws. If you were going to add a new character what sort of character would it be? Or which minor character would you like to see resurrected and rounded out and getting a story line of their own in S6? Chris Parsons? Roger Fenn? Stewart the park ranger? Mr. Porter, the parson with the pig penchant? Peter Cronk? I find my mind going immediately to those who have been or would potentially be friends to Martin. I guess it means I'm craving more of that friendship dynamic which is written and played so well on the show. Compared with other shows (eg. I'm thinking American ones written by Shonda Rhimes or David Kelly) the people in Doc Martin are downright healthy! There's something to be said for the British way, typified best perhaps by Aunt Joan, of not dramatising yourself and just getting on with it, rather than taking your emotional temperature every five minutes, and sticking the same thermometer invasively up your co-workers' butts.

No offense to Louise Jameson but please, please, please let Eleanor stay in Spain during S6. Or maybe she can join Elaine in Pompey or Majorica or some other suitable sun-drenched graveyard for the show's most annoying characters. Innit! I feel differently about Chris Ellingham. He's vile, yes, but if we have any of the parents back, we would get the best value out of him. There's the whole relationship dynamic with his other sister that could be explored, and having him meet his grandson (and Martin step in to protect his son against the parenting methods that were used on him) would validate Martin's statement made at the castle that he would not be like his father.
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Old 18-10-2012, 07:30
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I do so wish I knew what he decided to say to Louisa. When he encountered her outside the store and said, "Louisa", in that voice, he intended to deliver the message he had decided on. Before Danny showed up, was he on the verge of apologizing? Was he about to say something emotional from his heart? Or was Danny's interruption a blessing? He could have been about to tell her that her bad breath that day wasn't her fault because she was about to start her period!

Oh. A word. My little ENERAC here selects awkwardness. Here are the synonyms:
amateurishness, artlessness, boorishness, cloddishness, coarseness, crudeness, gawkiness, gracelessness, greenness, ignorance, inability, incompetence, ineptitude, ineptness, inexpertness, maladroitness, oafishness, rudeness, tactlessness, uncoordination, uncouthness, ungainliness, unskillfulness

It's a simple and common word, but many of the synonyms describe this Doc I love, in his social world, not necessarily his medical world.
There are many times in Doc Martin where a conversation is begun and interrupted where you just want to say: "no, stop, continue, this is important." (eg. where Mark interrupts the Doc and Louisa's first date at the pub, where Louisa fails to send the Oakwoods away from her door, where the stupid drycleaner guy interrupts the Doc and Louisa's conversation after the non-wedding, where Bert interrupts the Doc and starts talking to Louisa about the baby shower). I guess the show would be over if we let people get to what they really needed to say without interruption, but I think interruption as a device is getting a little old -- there must be another way of impeding the plot on its way to where we ultimately want to see it resolve.

Awkwardness plays a big role in Doc Martin and is one big source of its humour. I think it's the quality MC is getting at when he talks about M&L's romantic moments all getting skewed in some way such that their relationship plays not to harps and violins but to blaring car horns. We feel the awkwardness when those scenes are played, and it's part of what makes the show fun, maddening, and totally involving. Awkwardness is a quality Martin has, at least in Portwenn (I've commented before on that surprising social aplomb we see when he's around his medical peers or in London) -- as you say, many of the synonyms fit remarkably well -- but I'm not sure it's just awkwardness that's bugging Louisa (and us) about him in S2.
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Old 18-10-2012, 11:15
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I don't think MC has ever explained it. His father's name is Alexander also and he went by Alec. It isn't unusual for a son named after a father to have a nickname or use their middle name to avoid confusion. It's better than Junior.
Junior is hardly ever used in the UK. When we first started getting US TV, I was really surprised to hear it used.
Yes, I'd always assumed that it was to avoid confusion with his father.
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Old 18-10-2012, 11:16
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New poll up on www.docmartinonline.net - In season 2, episode 1, what do you think Martin was about to say to Louisa (outside the shop) when Danny interrupted them?
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Old 18-10-2012, 12:18
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How many undamaged people are left in the series? Is it time to add new characters or bring back some old ones? Does almost everyone need to be demonstrably flawed so they're so obsessed/lost in their own problems they don't bust everyone else on theirs? How does this compare to other shows?
But everyone in real life is damaged or at least carrying baggage when you get beyond the superficial. In romantic fiction the hero/heroine has to discover what it is that only that other person can provide/understand that makes them their ideal match above all others.

Wasn't the fact that the hero had flaws what made House so interesting (at least for a few seasons)? Not many tv shows do that so it seems to be superficial entertainment although we may identify with/admire some characters.

AJ didn't have much baggage and you don't really feel for her that much.
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Old 18-10-2012, 12:34
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I liked Aunt Joan; Love Aunt Ruth.

But it strikes me that both of these relatives make frequent comments on Martin's childhood bedwetting. Certainly Ruth should know that it wasn't by choice or deliberate, but rather a reflection of emotional issues young Martin was having.

Besides being thoughtless, the comments just seem rude and hurtful.
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Old 18-10-2012, 14:04
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What am I hoping for S6? I definitely want AR back. Am hoping she would analyze how this DM-LG rocky relationship keeps going on and on, despite all that has occurred from S1 through S5. AR, taking an interest in Al, has got me intrigued.. Bert, on the other hand, keeps dancing around Al to put a guilt trip on him, keeping the Large Restaurant going, despite slowly sinking in debt. I am hoping a brother of Bert appears on the scene, thus taking over as Bert is not well because of Al's migrating more to AR's farm. So far we have met DM's parents and two of his aunts. What about LG's relatives? Mrs. T is tricky. I don't want her written out. I hope Morwenna takes a fancy to one of the fishermen and he hangs out at the surgery in his dirty fisherman gear, thus annoying the doc. I want a rainy day in PW, even if the episode takes place indoors with the rain sheeting down the windows. I want to hear the seagulls in some of the outdoor scenes. MC has said they will try cohabitation in S6--(and not the G rated, suitable for viewing of all ages of S5), am wondering if marriage/christening will take place, or whether S6E1 will be a catch-up to keep the storyline moving a bit.
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Old 18-10-2012, 15:14
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There are many times in Doc Martin where a conversation is begun and interrupted where you just want to say: "no, stop, continue, this is important." (eg. where Mark interrupts the Doc and Louisa's first date at the pub, where Louisa fails to send the Oakwoods away from her door, where the stupid drycleaner guy interrupts the Doc and Louisa's conversation after the non-wedding, where Bert interrupts the Doc and starts talking to Louisa about the baby shower). I guess the show would be over if we let people get to what they really needed to say without interruption, but I think interruption as a device is getting a little old -- there must be another way of impeding the plot on its way to where we ultimately want to see it resolve.

.
I'm with you on this. It has gotten so as a situation builds you can see plotus interruptus coming.
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Old 18-10-2012, 15:18
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I think your connection of what I was trying to name in Martin during S2 with that accusation that Louisa makes in "Haemophobia" is a good one: M: "Oh when I speak, it just makes things worse. L: "that is not an answer, that is just so childish, M: well I think you've just proved my point. L: yeah and Peter would say that too. You know something? both of you, you deliberately stand outside the crowd and then you wonder why you feel isolated, and and you know what? apart from anything else that is...so selfish! I think Martin is selfish in that sense of being withholding. You could say he is just "highly defended" due to past damage, which lets him off the hook somewhat, but from the point of view of Louisa, whose virtue I have always seen as essentially a generosity of Spirit (the opposite of Martin's vice), it is a very frustrating shortcoming indeed, and one he could well work on.

Because I am an INTP (Myers Briggs) adopting the synoptic view well above the fray is a comfortable place for me also. I have been suprised over the years by how really annoying and offensive some of my friends (mostly the ENFJs) find that posture to be. They suspect it of being some power ploy -- a way of positioning myself as a superior to them and to the world generally. I maintain it is devoid of that sort of pride and certainly of that shrewd intent to manipulate the power dynamics...but it may well be selfish. It's like the selfishness of Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory who wants his chair positioned just so -- never mind that it means others have to turn their head in an awkward position or sit in a draught in order to talk to him. The point is that he is not so discomfitted. For friendship and certainly for the kind of relationship Louisa wants with Martin you have to learn a greater generosity -- your own comfort cannot be the paramount consideration all the time. When people want you to come down and join them on the plane of earth, lean into the fray where you let them know you have something invested as well, not to do so is selfish. It is saying that your needs are more important than theirs.

Louisa has risked a lot in telling Martin how she feels. His inability to match her risk in S2 and to raise her, speaks to both selfishness and, yes, cowardice and also to her chief S3 complaint against him: that he cannot move the relationship forward.

Interesting thoughts but I also see things from a slightly different point of view, as well.

Louisa sees Martin as "selfish" also because he is not meeting her needs when and as she wants them to be met. There is a certain selfishness in Louisa all along demanding DM be who she wants him to be instead of who he is.

Louisa is a flawed character herself, and has many insecurities, abandonment issues and so forth. Where many of us might not have reacted with pushing Martin out of the taxi, or later slapping him, Louisa did. She has obviously no sense of humor in dealing with Martin; if it doesn't do things exactly as she expects and wants, it's an immense issue, and she verbally and physically shows that. She demands he conforms to how she wants, and expects him to be. If he doesn't, on her timeline, he is selfish, as it makes it harder for her to deal with, for her to have the heroic partner she so desperately needs.

Now, we do know that DM has a very problematic personality, but I think if LG had been an entirely different person, calm and non-reactive, accepting and tolerant, DM might have moved forward in his growth quicker. It's LG's constant rejection and judgement, mostly that he did the "wrong" thing in the "wrong" way which makes DM pull back and be even more wary of opening up to her, which is, really, understandable. But, that's how the writers on the show did it, to create the relationship havoc we have all been involved in (perhaps too much so) for so many seasons.

So, we cannot entirely blame DM for being selfish and poor LG being the victim of it, all the time, in my opinion. She can be equally selfish and DM can be a victim of it as well. Ergo, they are perfectly matched for each other and we love them for it.

(PS--S5 is outside what I wrote above as the inexplicably aberrant DM withdrawal season it was)
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Old 18-10-2012, 16:11
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I'm with you on this. It has gotten so as a situation builds you can see plotus interruptus coming.
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Old 18-10-2012, 16:19
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I guess that's the danger of giving secondary characters their own subplots. They become small scale tragic heroes in their own right, with the necessary fatal flaws. If you were going to add a new character what sort of character would it be? Or which minor character would you like to see resurrected and rounded out and getting a story line of their own in S6? Chris Parsons? Roger Fenn? Stewart the park ranger? Mr. Porter, the parson with the pig penchant? Peter Cronk? I find my mind going immediately to those who have been or would potentially be friends to Martin. I guess it means I'm craving more of that friendship dynamic which is written and played so well on the show. Compared with other shows (eg. I'm thinking American ones written by Shonda Rhimes or David Kelly) the people in Doc Martin are downright healthy! There's something to be said for the British way, typified best perhaps by Aunt Joan, of not dramatising yourself and just getting on with it, rather than taking your emotional temperature every five minutes, and sticking the same thermometer invasively up your co-workers' butts.

No offense to Louise Jameson but please, please, please let Eleanor stay in Spain during S6. Or maybe she can join Elaine in Pompey or Majorica or some other suitable sun-drenched graveyard for the show's most annoying characters. Innit! I feel differently about Chris Ellingham. He's vile, yes, but if we have any of the parents back, we would get the best value out of him. There's the whole relationship dynamic with his other sister that could be explored, and having him meet his grandson (and Martin step in to protect his son against the parenting methods that were used on him) would validate Martin's statement made at the castle that he would not be like his father.

None of the characters mentioned have enough appeal to me that I'd like to see a storyline devoted to them, although I would like to see Stewart and Roger and Chris Parsons appear again as foils for Martin. I think he interacts well with them. I hope Eleanor stays in Portugal. I think what happens in the casting is that MC is good buddies with quite a lot of good actors and actresses and finds places for them in DM, but that doesn't necessarily extend to recurring characters. I don't put Selina Caddell or Eileen Atkins in the "good buddy" category, though e.g., Julie Graham definitely is.

As for Christopher Ellingham -- not so sure I want to see him back at all. I think he's made a pretty near indelible impression already and it's not clear to me what more a re-appearance would add. That goes for Eleanor, too.

As for new characters: perhaps a reliable babysitter for James Henry?

I liked Aunt Joan; Love Aunt Ruth.

But it strikes me that both of these relatives make frequent comments on Martin's childhood bedwetting. Certainly Ruth should know that it wasn't by choice or deliberate, but rather a reflection of emotional issues young Martin was having.

Besides being thoughtless, the comments just seem rude and hurtful.
I think this is another example of MC breaking through into DM. He often talks about his issues with bed-wetting as a boy; clearly very difficult for him and this is yet another way of dealing with the residue -- poking a kind of mean fun at his younger self. It actually makes me uncomfortable and I wish he wouldn't do it.
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Old 18-10-2012, 16:23
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Louisa is a flawed character herself, and has many insecurities, abandonment issues and so forth. Where many of us might not have reacted with pushing Martin out of the taxi, or later slapping him, Louisa did. She has obviously no sense of humor in dealing with Martin; if it doesn't do things exactly as she expects and wants, it's an immense issue, and she verbally and physically shows that.
it is this very physicality that makes us pretty certain of the weasel sex.
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Old 18-10-2012, 16:26
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I think this is another example of MC breaking through into DM. He often talks about his issues with bed-wetting as a boy; clearly very difficult for him and this is yet another way of dealing with the residue -- poking a kind of mean fun at his younger self. It actually makes me uncomfortable and I wish he wouldn't do it.
Thanks for the info and yes, it makes me uncomfortable too. If he is going to include it, could there be one character who is kind about it, or even Martin himself making a comment about the pain he suffered at that time in his life.
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Old 18-10-2012, 16:29
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Interesting thoughts but I also see things from a slightly different point of view, as well.

Louisa sees Martin as "selfish" also because he is not meeting her needs when and as she wants them to be met. There is a certain selfishness in Louisa all along demanding DM be who she wants him to be instead of who he is.

Louisa is a flawed character herself, and has many insecurities, abandonment issues and so forth. Where many of us might not have reacted with pushing Martin out of the taxi, or later slapping him, Louisa did. She has obviously no sense of humor in dealing with Martin; if it doesn't do things exactly as she expects and wants, it's an immense issue, and she verbally and physically shows that. She demands he conforms to how she wants, and expects him to be. If he doesn't, on her timeline, he is selfish, as it makes it harder for her to deal with, for her to have the heroic partner she so desperately needs.

Now, we do know that DM has a very problematic personality, but I think if LG had been an entirely different person, calm and non-reactive, accepting and tolerant, DM might have moved forward in his growth quicker. It's LG's constant rejection and judgement, mostly that he did the "wrong" thing in the "wrong" way which makes DM pull back and be even more wary of opening up to her, which is, really, understandable. But, that's how the writers on the show did it, to create the relationship havoc we have all been involved in (perhaps too much so) for so many seasons.

So, we cannot entirely blame DM for being selfish and poor LG being the victim of it, all the time, in my opinion. She can be equally selfish and DM can be a victim of it as well. Ergo, they are perfectly matched for each other and we love them for it.

(PS--S5 is outside what I wrote above as the inexplicably aberrant DM withdrawal season it was)
I'm pretty sure that if she had been an entirely different person, DM wouldn't have been nearly as attracted to her.

I think on the whole she tries very hard to tolerate his eccentricities, and withdraws or walks out when it gets too much for her and she believes that he can't change or that she shouldn't try to change him. The slap at the end of Erotomania -- well, if a slap is ever justifiable, that one was, imo.

(Also referencing a MC interview on the Paul O'Grady show in which he responded, to O'Grady's comment that the Doc needed help, " he needs a good slap."
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Old 18-10-2012, 17:09
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I liked Aunt Joan; Love Aunt Ruth.

But it strikes me that both of these relatives make frequent comments on Martin's childhood bedwetting. Certainly Ruth should know that it wasn't by choice or deliberate, but rather a reflection of emotional issues young Martin was having.

Besides being thoughtless, the comments just seem rude and hurtful.
Joan often brought up his bedwetting, as did John Slater and Muriel Steele, but is that true of Aunt Ruth? Could be, but I can't remember an instance. Maybe my memory is failing me. If Ruth has done this, yes, you're right, in her professional capacity she certainly should know better.
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Old 18-10-2012, 17:10
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it is this very physicality that makes us pretty certain of the weasel sex.
Good point!
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Old 18-10-2012, 17:12
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I'm also on a Sherlock Holmes Forum, (not based on the modern show, but on the classic love of SH), and someone there sends out limericks regarding various stories from the Canon. So, here is a little limerick for DM:

A surgeon acquired a blood fear
Then glimpsed a woman he held dear.
He moved to Portwenn,
To do medicine
And try to bring her oh so near.

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Old 18-10-2012, 18:49
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I'm also on a Sherlock Holmes Forum, (not based on the modern show, but on the classic love of SH), and someone there sends out limericks regarding various stories from the Canon. So, here is a little limerick for DM:

A surgeon acquired a blood fear
Then glimpsed a woman he held dear.
He moved to Portwenn,
To do medicine
And try to bring her oh so near.

Good for you! Wish I had a poetic talent, but I think limericks are great fun and we could use more of them.
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